Many people are under the impression that ultrasound exams are only conducted during pregnancy. However, that’s not the case. In honor of Men’s Health Month, the specialists at Alaska Family Sonograms would like to share the important role that testicular and scrotal ultrasounds can play in men’s overall health and well-being.
Why are testicular and scrotal ultrasounds done?
There are many reasons why this type of ultrasound is performed, including:
- To examine a mass or a painful area in the testicles
- To evaluate or look for an infection or swelling of the testicles or epididymis
- To check for twisting of the spermatic cord (cuts off blood supply to the testicles, testicular torsion)
- To test for testicular cancer recurrence
- To detect an undescended testicle
- To locate fluid in the scrotum (hydrocele), blood in the scrotum (hematocele), fluid in the epididymis (spermatocele), or pus in the scrotum (pyocele)
- To guide a testicular biopsy (often done when testing fertility)
- To evaluate and diagnose trauma or injury to the scrotal area
- To diagnose causes of testicular pain or swelling
- To evaluate the cause of infertility such as varicocele
How is the exam performed?
Your sonographer will position you lying face-up, but your position may vary to improve the quality of the images. A warm gel is applied to the area so the transducer can make secure contact with the skin by eliminating air bubbles between the transducer and the body (which can inhibit the sound waves). The transducer is moved back and forth over the area until the images are captured.
You don’t have to worry about discomfort or pressure during an ultrasound exam. However, if the ultrasound is conducted on an area that’s tender, you may feel slight pressure or minimal pain from the transducer.
For more information on testicular and scrotal ultrasound exams, or to make an appointment, call the sonographers at Alaska Family Sonograms today at (907) 885-0390.